Story By: Darko Manevski, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Real Press
A 16-year old girl from New York has just beaten the Guinness World Record for fastest vehicle slalom and now has her sights set on a Formula One seat.
It took Chloe Chambers two attempts and exactly 47.45 seconds to weave her way through 50 traffic cones in a 2020 Porsche 718 Spyder. That was just over half a second faster than the 48.11-second record set in 2018 by professional Chinese racing driver Jia Qiang and enough to earn her a Guinness World Record as the fastest slalom driver ever.
Porsche recently published pictures and a video of the successful record attempt, which took place on 21st August at Solberg Airport, a small airstrip outside New York City. In the video, 16-year old Chloe Chambers can be seen expertly zigzagging her way around 50 traffic cones, each placed exactly 15.05 metres (49.37 feet) apart, tearing the Porsche 718 Spyder GT’s steering wheel left and right with millimetre accuracy as she clears the 762-metre (2.500-foot) course.
When the record is confirmed, Ms Chambers, who lives in Hudson Valley, New York, is heard exclaiming “Oh thank goodness” before jumping out of the car to hug her waiting father and mentor, Matthew Chambers.
Ms Chambers, who is of Chinese descent and lives in Hudson Valley, New York, with her parents and two younger siblings, was invited to take a stab at the record by Porsche Cars North America. Despite her young age, Ms Chambers is already a seasoned and successful competitive kart racing driver with eight years of experience and more race wins and championships under her belt than she cares to remember.
“I have a lot of wins and podiums. I have several championships and multiple race wins. I have never actually counted them all,” Ms Chambers told Real Press in a chat about racing and her ambitions for the future. If she has her say, her future lies in the royal class of professional racing, Formula One, she said.
“In motorsports, my goal is not only to compete in Formula One, but also to be competitive there,” she said. If successful, it would make Ms Chambers only the third female driver to actually participate in a Formula One race. Her all time favourite racing driver is Brazilian Formula One legend Ayrton Senna. Among the current drivers it is, perhaps not surprisingly, the defending and dominant world champion Lewis Hamilton.
Ms Chambers’ interest in racing started at the age of four. She would watch Formula One races on TV with her father, who is an amateur racing driver himself, and when he was off to an autocross race in his Porsche 944 Turbo, little Chloe would tag along. At one of these races there were karts, and Chloe badgered her parents until they let her give it a try. She was seven years old, and after that initial taste of gasoline, her parents had no other choice than to find her a local kart club. She had her first training session in 2011, and in 2012, her first full season at the Oakland Valley Race Park in Cuddebackville, NY, Ms Chambers won the club’s Kid Kart Championship.
In 2015, she secured the New York State Junior Championship. She has a professional manager and small sponsors now, but is still a fair bit away from breaking even, let alone making money as a kart driver. Racing is not her only hobby. She has a black belt in Taekwondo, plays the piano and is a competitive swimmer. The part about being “competitive” is important. It has always been a motivational factor in her life and also what she likes the most about racing, she said.
“I enjoy the competitive aspect of it. I like how so many factors play a role in your performance. The complexity makes victories feel so much better,“ she explained. For the slalom record attempt, Ms Chambers worked hard for the better part of a week getting the feel of the powerful Porsche Spyder, which will take you from zero to 100 kph (62.13 mph) in just 4.4 seconds.
The prospect of beating a Guinness World Record made every minute of it worthwhile. She intends to break more records going forward, but “not necessarily Guinness World Records. I am definitely looking to break more track records,” she said.
It is clear that she has set the course for a career in professional motorsports, but at the age of 16 she still has plenty of time to develop her talent before committing to a specific timeline.
Her agent is, however, already working to secure a sponsor that can help carry her to the next level.
“Our agency intends to partner Chloe with one exclusive sponsor whose products she genuinely loves and with whose values she is closely aligned. It is our goal to strengthen this partnership throughout her ascension up the motorsports’ ladder, which she is determined to climb,” her agent, Suzane Shriver, director of motorsports at Independent Sports & Entertainment, said.
And Chloe Chambers herself, when does she think she think the next step towards a professional career should be?
“As soon as I am ready. I’m letting my preparedness dictate the next steps rather than my age,“ she said.
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